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Cytokinetics: Pump Up the Volume

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SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- Cytokinetics (CYTK) traded sharply higher during Friday's session with gains coming on heavy volume following rumors of a possible acquisition by Amgen (AMGN).

Cytokinetics saw 2.5 million shares change hands Friday, many times greater than the 50-day average daily volume of 418,000 shares, after Briefing.com reported market chatter of a possible deal that would see Amgen acquire the small-cap biotech company.

Volume was greatest during the 2 p.m. EDT hour, when Cytokinetics' stock hit an intraday high of $5.20, close to its 52-week high. Shares were lately up 55 cents, or 12.3%, at $5.03.

Cytokinetics has a 45.3 million-share float with a small short interest float of 2.2% as of Aug. 26, according to Yahoo! Finance. Amgen, on the other hand, has a float of one billion and a short interest float of 2.2%. Amgen has a market cap of $61.5 billion, compared to Cytokinetics' $303 million market cap.

Cytokinetics shares are poised to finish the week with an advance of more than 25%. On Monday, the stock popped after a Wedbush Morgan analyst increased the firm's price target to $18 from $4, citing the company's focus on drugs that improve muscle function.

Investor posts on Internet message boards Friday argued that Cytokinetics is undervalued, given the company's potential when compared to other biotech companies. Others noted that rumors of a partnership with Amgen first popped up a few months earlier. Some traders pointed out that the stock is now only back to trading where it was a year ago.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York.

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